Juicy sautéed shrimp cooked in a flavorful lemon garlic butter sauce, this palate pleaser in a pan is ready in 20 minutes or less. Plus, a few sneaky ingredients make this Garlic Butter Shrimp lighter than recipes you’ll find elsewhere.
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Clear indicators of a fantastic meal:
- It demands you use a hunk of bread to mop up every last lick of sauce from your plate (like Baked Shrimp Scampi).
- Any precious drips that found their way onto the table are also savored, because each morsel is too delicious to be wasted.
This easy garlic butter shrimp recipe is one of those fabulous recipes.
Decadent, dripping with flavor, and tasting just as good (and, in my opinion, better) than any garlic butter shrimp from a restaurant, this versatile stovetop shrimp recipe (hallelujah for one-pan cooking!) is one of the BEST recipes to come out of my kitchen.
5 Star Review
“I made this for dinner today. My husband finished everything on his plate, including all the sauce. It is definitely a keeper.”— Dolly —
Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins, especially for busy weeknights, for a few reasons:
- They take only minutes to cook. We’re talking 3 to 4 minutes and DONE.
- They’re high protein and low calorie.
- Shrimp are mild. That means you can make them as spicy (like Shrimp Tacos) or not spicy (like Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa) as you like.
- Shrimp recipes are EASY. I know that cooking with seafood might sound fancy, but please believe me that it is not. This garlic butter shrimp is appropriate for beginners (same with all of the easy shrimp recipes you’ll find on my site).
- They’re versatile. They’re equally delicious in this bright Mediterranean Shrimp as they are in this Cajun Shrimp Pasta.
- Cook them indoors or out. While this shrimp recipe is designed for the stovetop, now that summer is approaching (it is approaching, isn’t it?), keep shrimp in mind for the grill with recipes like Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs and Grilled Shrimp Seasoning.
Now that I have you sold on cooking shrimp, let’s delve into this recipe a bit more.
How to Make the BEST Garlic Butter Shrimp
This garlic butter shrimp recipe has few ingredients, so make each one of them count.
If you are new to cooking shrimp, fear not!
There’s helpful information throughout this post so you can cook this shrimp with garlic butter sauce (and just about any shrimp recipe!) with success.
My biggest tip for cooking shrimp is to ensure that you have all of the ingredients prepped before you start cooking.
- Once this lemon garlic butter shrimp recipe starts rolling, it happens FAST.
- Make sure that you have the ingredients, along with any cooking utensils like a large spoon and a big plate for when you remove the shrimp from the skillet, in easy reach.
- Why? The only way you can truly mess up shrimp is to overcook it.
- As soon as they turn opaque and curl up a bit, they’re good to go. It takes fewer than 5 minutes, so make sure you are ready (see points above).
- Shrimp. Not only are shrimp packed with protein, but they’re also loaded with other beneficial vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
Fresh vs. Frozen Shrimp
- Since I don’t live in an area with easy access to freshly caught shrimp, I prefer to buy shrimp frozen. Since it’s frozen shortly after being caught, it is often better quality (for a better price) than what is sitting behind our seafood case.
- If purchasing fresh shrimp, look for raw shrimp (not precooked) that are deveined and either EZ-peel or already peeled (tails on or off is up to you). I can’t overstate what a time saver this option is!
- Unsalted Butter. It’s not garlic butter shrimp without it!
- Garlic. A BFF flavor with shrimp. Sometimes less is more, but when it comes to garlic and shrimp, I say, more is more!
- Lemon. The other flavor bestie for shrimp, it adds freshness and pop (like in this Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp).
Always opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than bottled whenever possible. It’s worth it, I promise.
- White Wine. For the butter garlic shrimp white wine, choose a dry wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and make sure it tastes good enough to drink with dinner. (This Garlic Shrimp Pasta is another wine-infused shrimp recipe to try.)
If you prefer to make garlic butter shrimp without wine, you can swap for chicken stock instead. I’ve also heard you can make garlic butter shrimp with Sprite or lemon-lime soda but this sounds very sweet/odd to me, so I’ve never tried it myself.
- Red Pepper. A pinch wakes up the shrimp but won’t overpower it. If you prefer a spicy garlic butter shrimp (with heat like this Spicy Shrimp Pasta), feel free to add additional cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste. Garlic butter shrimp with paprika is another fun way to add some spice without it being too hot.
- Fresh Herbs. Don’t be tempted by dry. They won’t have the same marvelous results. A handful of fresh parsley and a sprig of thyme or rosemary do wonders for this recipe.
- Choice of Side. Garlic butter shrimp with rice, garlic butter shrimp with linguine, and garlic butter shrimp with grits. No matter your side, you really can’t go wrong.
- Pat the shrimp dry.
- Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with seasonings.
- Melt the butter in a skillet and add the shallot.
- Once softened, arrange the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 1 minute, then flip to cook the other side.
- Add the wine and garlic and cook the shrimp until they are pink.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and your choice of side. ENJOY!
The same dry white wine you use to cook garlic butter shrimp makes for an easy pairing. Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or unoaked chardonnay are some of my favorite wine pairings for shrimp.
- To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Cooked shrimp are typically best enjoyed the day they are made but can be reheated very gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat covered with a lid. You could also take a note from Air Fryer Shrimp and experiment with using the air fryer to reheat shrimp.
Note that shrimp tend to dry out easily when reheated, so warm them slowly and gently and keep a close eye on them for best results.
What Goes Well With Garlic Butter Shrimp
This is one of the most versatile shrimp recipes to come out of my kitchen. Here’s how I like to serve it:
- Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice. Make a side of brown rice (or this Lemon Rice!) and spoon the shrimp, along with plenty of the yummy lemon garlic butter sauce, over the top. Cauliflower rice is a nice low-carb option.
- Garlic Butter Shrimp and Veggies. You can roast, steam, sauté, or grill veggies, then serve them along with the shrimp. Pro tip: vegetables (especially Grilled Broccoli) taste fabulous with this garlic butter sauce on top too!
- A Nice, Crusty Baguette. A few slices to mop up the cooking liquid will instantly make any night feel special. (This No Knead Focaccia would also be a tasty pairing.)
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Skillet. A large cast-iron skillet is just about all you need to prepare this easy one-pan recipe.
- Mixing Bowl. For tossing the shrimp in the seasoning (you could also try this Grilled Shrimp Seasoning too).
- Tongs. Make turning the shrimp over as they cook a breeze.
The Best Cast Iron Skillet
This Le Creuset skillet is top quality. Its durable enamel resists dulling and staining, and is specially formulated for higher surface temperatures.
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.
Don’t mind me, I’m just using a straw to siphon every last drop of garlic butter from my plate.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have not made this recipe with precooked shrimp before. However, it can be done. Add the shrimp at the very end once the wine reduces. You will want to watch the shrimp carefully and take care not to overcook them since they will only need to be warmed through (1-2 minutes tops).
This garlic butter shrimp recipe is healthier than most with less than 200 calories per serving. However, remember this IS a recipe for shrimp bathed in butter. Enjoy in moderation and savor.
Sure! I have not personally made this recipe with scallops, however, I’m sure they could be added to or swapped for the shrimp. Keep in mind that the cooking time would need to be adjusted depending on the size of your scallops. For best results, I suggest searing the scallops separately, then adding them towards the end.
Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 1 pound uncooked large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme optional but definitely worthwhile!
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- cooked rice, or pasta, grits, or toasted bread (for serving)
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl.
Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it melts. Add the shallot and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it just begins to soften. Add the shrimp in a single layer and let cook undisturbed for 1 minute. With tongs or a wide spatula, turn over the shrimp.
Add the wine and garlic. Cook until the shrimp are no longer translucent and the wine has reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Zest the lemon directly over the skillet, then cut the lemon in half. Juice half of the lemon over the top and slice the other half into wedges for serving. Add the rosemary and parsley, then toss to combine. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
- TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Cooked shrimp are typically best enjoyed the day they are made but can be reheated very gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat covered with a lid. Note that shrimp tend to dry out easily when reheated, so warm them slowly and gently and keep a close eye on them for best results.
READ: Garlic Butter Shrimp